Product Spotlight

Swipe a glance at this laptop anti-theft device from Caveo Technology

As more and more schools provide laptops for students and teachers, the Caveo Anti-Theft security system is an attractive option for making sure they remain with their rightful owners.

Caveo Anti-Theft, a security solution for laptop computers from Cambridge, Mass.-based Caveo Technology, has a built-in motion detector. When the PC card-like device detects motion, a warning signal goes off. If an armed computer is moved beyond a distance specified by the owner, the system assumes theft and initiates a series of security responses that include shutting down the computer, preventing access to the operating system, and sounding an audible alarm. The device also has an encryption option to protect confidential data.

The system is independent of the computer. Whether the computer is on or off, Caveo Anti-Theft can be armed or disarmed conveniently using the device’s Motion Password. The device can work for more than three weeks before its rechargeable battery needs charging.

“Laptop theft is a major concern and a costly problem that grows worse as the laptop increasingly becomes the computer of choice,” said David Lee, founder and CEO of Caveo Technology. The Caveo Anti-Theft device costs $99 and is available through a number of retailers, online catalogs, and resellers.

(617) 576-7700

Enforce your district’s AUP with help from Vericept Inc.

Vericept Solutions for Education—a collection of internet monitoring tools from Vericept Inc., formerly known as eSniff—captures and reports all violations of a school’s internet acceptable-use policy. Unlike typical filtering systems, however, Vericept Solutions for Education doesn’t block objectionable material, and it doesn’t presume to know what a school feels is appropriate.

Instead, the system—which consists of a Linux-based hardware device—captures and reports activity predefined by the school as inappropriate. Vericept’s unobtrusive monitoring technology uses advanced linguistics and mathematical analysis to analyze a school’s network traffic, including internet, intranet, and eMail use; print jobs; and instant messaging.

Vericept Solutions for Education allows schools to define their own boundaries when it comes to acceptable-use policies. The software simply captures the full content of the activity that violates these policies, so school officials can take action in real time or follow up later. By recording and reporting inappropriate internet use, Vericept helps school officials identify pending violent attacks, substance-abuse problems, or even attempted plagiarism. The device can capture when students use school computers to buy term papers online, download pornography, view drug or bomb-making web sites, or engage in racist dialogue. The sensitivity of the categories can be tailored to suit each school.

Vericept Solutions for Education costs between $10 and $20 per workstation, depending on the number of stations at a given school. In addition, there is an optional annual maintenance fee of 20 percent.

(800) 262-0274

Manage your district’s tech support with TCO Helpdesk

NetSupport TCO Helpdesk, a web-based software tool from NetSupport Inc., allows school district technology personnel to log and manage help requests using customizable forms. The software also allows IT staff members to conduct a complete hardware and software inventory of a user’s computer and allocate an appropriately skilled person to solve the problem.

Using a visually intuitive interface, teachers and other school employees in need of help can go online to submit a help request and view its status. NetSupport TCO Helpdesk provides an ongoing history of each user that asks for help. An electronic bulletin board displays in real time the number of requests currently being processed by the help desk professionals and how long users can expect to wait for resolution.

The software produces detailed reports that list the total number of requests for support, status of the calls, and average resolution time. These reports can help you identify the kinds of problems that prevail in your district and how much time they take to resolve, so you can budget your resources accordingly.

(888) 665-0808

Calculate your students’ math proficiency with MathAccess

MathAccess, a new diagnostic mathematics assessment test from Vantage Learning, adapts to a student’s proficiency level, enabling schools to identify students’ math skills quickly, intervene when necessary, and provide custom curriculum accordingly.

MathAccess provides a cross-section of a student’s math ability and helps schools identify where students need more math instruction. It evaluates students on a common scale across grade levels, allowing schools to track student progress from year to year. This web-based, computer-adaptive software, which is based on technology that is used in more than 40 states and was most recently adopted by Virginia, can be customized to meet specific state or district needs.

“Until now, states [and school districts have] lacked an effective tool to diagnose student mathematic skills at an instructionally useful level,” said Vantage Learning CEO Peter Murphy. “Now, schools will have the ability to quickly and accurately determine where students need further mathematics instruction.”

(215) 579-8390

Develop students’ reading skills with this new Lightspan program

The Lightspan Reading Center, a new online reading program for grades K-3, allows students to work at their own pace, whether they are prereaders or fluent readers. It provides real-time, online tracking of individual student progress by skill and objective, so teachers can assess areas of concern or strength quickly.

Designed especially for young students, the Lightspan Reading Center program provides step-by-step audio instructions that encourage students to complete interactive activities and move onto higher levels of achievement. Students will learn vocabulary building, comprehension, word analysis, phonics, study skills, critical thinking, and more.

In addition to the classroom tools, the Reading Center includes online and face-to-face professional development to help teachers stay current on the most recent research on reading and instructional approaches. It also includes a family-training component to increase family involvement and increase the school-home connection.

The Reading Center is part of Lightspan’s Early Reading program and is not intended to be used in isolation, said Lightspan spokesman Bob Scheid. The program was co-developed by teachers at Allen Independent School District in Texas and curriculum specialists at Lightspan Inc. and was partly funded by a Technology Innovation Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

(888) 4 ALL KIDS

Leap all file transport hurdles with Sony’s Micro Vault

With increased access to digital photos and graphics, students are creating computer files too big to save on a single floppy disk to transfer them between home and school. With Sony’s Micro Vault USB storage device, however, students and teachers can save and transport large files—such as PowerPoint presentations loaded with audio and video—between computers with ease.

The Micro Vault is about the size of a pack of gum. It plugs into a computer’s USB port and is automatically recognized by the latest Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Users don’t have to worry about cables, adapters, software, or interoperability between PCs and Macs. The device also has a password-protected security feature to ensure security of the files.

The Micro Vault comes in four sizes:16 MB (orange), 32 MB (red), 64 MB (blue), and 128 MB (black). The suggested retail prices are $49.99, $69.99, $99.99, and $149.99, respectively.

(800) 942-SONY

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